By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Drag Me to Hell
After spending a decade working on three Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi has gone back to the kind of in your face horror films that established him in the movie business. Drag Me to Hell has the same sort of outrageous comic horror as the Evil Dead movies.
Sam Raimi Returns to Horrow w/ Drag Me to Hell
“It’s hard making those,” Raimi said. “It’s so hard. I hope the audience likes this movie. I certainly have made plenty of movies that the audience didn’t like and it’s really harsh when you make a movie, whether it’s a horror movie or a comedy or whatever, and the audience doesn’t like it. It’s so debilitating but that’s the game I guess. A lot of it’s luck if you happen to make a movie that people seem to like. I think everyone is really trying to make their movies the best they can. Just sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. it’s so weird and I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve received a lot of positive words on some of the movies that I’ve made so I feel much more fortunate than most filmmakers. I like mixing comedy and horror.”
In Drag Me to Hell, a gypsy curses the loan officer who refused a third extension on her mortgage. Raimi intends for audiences to side with the gypsy. “It’s what made the character interesting to me, that she was flawed and capable of making mistakes and selfish choices. Unfortunately, I understand her because of that, because I am weak and flawed and scared and selfish and all those things. That weakness fascinates me. I detest it but it’s what interests me. It interests me because I’m flawed because I can sometimes explore the things that trouble me. I think all writers work this way. They take a part of themselves, what they understand as their problems or whatever and they put them out there. I wish I had more noble problems. She’s such an awful character, it’s really embarrassing. That’s how writers work I think.”
Raimi didn’t have $200 million to make Drag Me to Hell but the tradeoff was more artistic freedom. “With those Spider-Man pictures, which I love making, there's still a lot of responsibility on the director’s shoulders and the producers, everyone's shoulders, because you're dealing with a character that has been around for 40 some years, is much loved by people throughout the world and people not just have a sense of ownership of Spider-Man, rightfully so, but they look up to him as a hero. Generations of people do. So you have to be careful with how that portrayal takes place. You have to have a lot of respect for the ownership of everyone which they do have over that character and so I was using the word responsibility of the responsibility to present him in a proper light. And that's a great job but it's much more freeing to take a break from that and work with your own characters in a place where no one has any expectation of them because they don't know them. You’re really free to do anything you want. So there's a lot more freedom's that come with the independent picture, Drag Me to Hell.”
Also, Raimi just plain likes horror movies. “I really like the horror genre. The horror audience is the best audience in the world. They want to be entertained. They go there to be thrilled. I feel like they’ve got a really fun attitude in their hearts when they go to see these movies. Not that normal audiences for everything else aren’t wonderful but the horror audience is something special actually. Even better than a comedy crowd, they want to be entertained and appreciate things. I think they're the best audiences in the world right now.”